In Conversation with Vast Creatives and Jabu Newman

We caught up with photographer Jabu Newman and one of the members of Vast Creatives, Mpume Mdunge to talk about their recent collaboration and an overview of their work.

Photo Credit: Jabu Newman

Jabu described the story of their collaborating as “unique and fortuitous”. The group were introduced to one another via Instagram through art director Unathi Mkonto. They clicked immediately and with the positivity and energy sparked in the initial discussion, they knew they wanted to work together. 

Photo Credit: Jabu Newman | Styling Vast Creatives

Jabu had recently got herself a new medium format film camera and had been testing around Cape Town a bit. Focusing on shooting with natural light in nature specific sites like trees, forests and mountains I wanted to carry on with this investigation and incorporating more of an editorial and fashion aesthetic with it. 

Photo Credit: Jabu Newman
Photo Credit: Jabu Newman

During a week spent in Johannesburg Jabu met a couple of models through friends and asked them if they’d be keen to shoot. They loved her work so it all felt very natural and exciting. 

Photo Credit: Jabu Newman | Styling Vast Creatives

Vast Creatives, who Jabu worked with on the Zoo Lake story featured, are a collective of creatives made up of stylists and curators. The focus of their work has always centred around a desire ‘Grow and Elavate’ local streetwear In South Africa whether through the work we do with local brands or some of the content they create themselves.

Photo Credit: Jabu Newman | Styling Vast Creatives

VC’s Mpume explains:

“We got into the business honestly by chance. We just always used to have the flyest gear cause we were always thrifting and then literally everyone around us said we should go into styling and that’s how it happened.” 

Mpume says Vast Creatives draw inspiration from Joburg culture. Places like Braamfontein and the city in general are major sources of reference along with many pop culture influences.

Photo Credit: Jabu Newman | Styling Vast Creatives

Joburger Mpume says that their shoot with Jabu At Zoo Lake was weird for him in the sense that as locals, they wouldn’t have thought to use such a familiar exterior as the Lake, as a location. Jabu brought the fresh eyes of a newcomer to the city and through this revealed Zoo Lake’s beauty. He also enjoyed the fact that the shoot was not really planned and it all just seemed to fall into place. Everyone in the creative team had a shared vision and knew how they wanted to go about realising it.

Photo Credit: Jabu Newman | Styling Vast Creatives
Photo Credit: Seve | Styling Vast Creatives

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